The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that union membership in Michigan increased from 13.3 percent to 14 percent of the state’s workforce last year. And it’s not the only place where labor efforts are becoming more prevalent.
Reports note that efforts to organize are underway at a Tesla facility in Buffalo, which is proving to be a region gaining notoriety as a place where organizing starts.
Gaining support may not be difficult
According to sources, the underlying issues that workers at the Tesla plant are facing include pay and job security. Safety and work-life balance are also hot-button issues. Workers say that the company ordered them to either come to work during a blizzard or use sick and vacation time to stay home, which is something many employees took issue with.
These issues, along with actions by CEO Elon Musk, like threatening stock options if employees chose to unionize, are reportedly making it easier to get support for an election to join a union.
The Tesla plant employs about 2,000 workers and would become the first Tesla workplace to unionize if efforts are successful.
What does this mean for Michigan workers?
Stories like this highlight the shifts in workers’ mindsets we are seeing across the country and right here in Michigan. A growing number of people in the workforce are interested in tools that will ensure their employers treat and compensate them fairly and improve working conditions.
And many people are recognizing the importance of prioritizing their quality of life, which means having more say in their work conditions and benefits.
Labor membership is one tool that employees might consider to accomplish their goals.